Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realise how important it is to use the time I have.
I'm just looking as always for something that's stimulating and I hope to find a good story that's a challenge, whether it's big or small. Or that it finds me. I don't have like a career plan. Maybe I should, but I don't.
It's always interesting to play a character that obviously has a secret.
I'm not afraid of death, but I resent it. I think it's unfair and irritating. Every time I see something beautiful, I not only want to return to it, but it makes me want to see other beautiful things. I know I'm not going to get to all the places I want to go.
There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever.
Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is.
I think that people who get to a certain position, and then try to ferociously defend it or build on it, it's kind of a dead-end street. You see people becoming miserable that way.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.
I have a multicultural background, so I tend to have an open mind about things, and I find other cultures interesting.
To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering back, participating in life.
I'm an optimist; I always hope that each new script is going to be a great story.
I'm not a great fan of monarchy in general, but I have to say the Danish monarchy is closer to the people; it's not as stuffy as the English one.
You know, real life doesn't just suddenly resolve itself. You have to keep working at it.
As far as money goes, there's a saying in Denmark: 'Your last suit doesn't have any pockets.' You can't take it with you. You can make all the money you want, but who cares?
Nobody really knows anybody completely, even if they've been married to 'em for 53 years, you know?
It's true that I have a wide range of interests. I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else.
You know, 'Viggo' is a pretty dorky name in Denmark. It's like 'Oswald' or something. It's a very old Scandinavian name, at least 1,000 years old.
Like most people I can be lazy, so it's nice to have a goal or deadline or reason to work out. I feel better when I get to exercise, or when I'm outdoors. I like to hike, swim and run, and I love to play soccer.
I don't like the 'must', the 'always', and the 'never' words. I don't like 'no' either.
I think that every person has many, many people inside of them. We change our personality depending on who we are talking to or what situation we are in.
I have a work ethic. If I say I'm going to do something, I do it.
Photography, painting or poetry - those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things; they are my way of communicating.
We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day, but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.
It's hard not to get depressed when you pay attention to the world and how strangely and corrupt the people in it sometimes behave.
You see people on the street yelling and think they're crazy, but maybe they're just happy and expressing what they feel at all times.
Saying you are a patriot does not make you one; wearing a flag pin does not in itself mean anything at all.
If you don't find some way to discuss what's going on inside you, it can come out in other ways that are self-destructive.
I try to avoid conflict. I don't want people to be unhappy.
Pinochet and Barack Obama both have the same primary goal, and that's to be president and stay president as long as allowed.
If there's one thing I've learned from traveling, it's that it is definitely more important how you are than where you are. You can say, 'Oh, I hate X city, I hate that country, or I prefer this city,' but it's a little bit up to you to find some kind of happiness.
I would literally climb out of the cradle while my parents slept, go and crawl off. I did this a couple of times apparently. I'd cross the road and into someone's house, wake them up banging pots and pans in the kitchen.
I hate divers, like Cristiano Ronaldo, who might be the greatest athlete in the sport, but he's a big baby. If things are going well he's great, but when things are going badly it's the ref's fault, it's his teammates' fault.
I don't think Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell fear competition from me in their arena.
You know, real life doesn't just suddenly resolve itself. You have to keep working at it. Democracy, marriage, friendship. You can't just say, 'She's my best friend.' That's not a given, it's a process.
I realise how important it is to use the time I have. I respect people who want to do that by watching television. I happen to want to read books. But I know I can't read all the books or watch all the movies in one lifetime.
There's no sense in doing something, especially if it's a hard job, if you can't have a little fun.
When we shot 'The Lord of the Rings,' we had special permission to film in wild areas of New Zealand that could be accessed only by helicopter. They would drop us off and we would work all day, and they'd pick us up and take us out again.
In my opinion, the vast majority of scripts written - as well as most movies that are released - are not very original, well-written, or interesting. It has always been that way, and I think it always will be.
Be kind. It's worthwhile to make an effort to learn about other people and figure out what you might have in common with them. If you allow yourself to be somewhat curious - and if you get into the habit of doing that - it's the first step to being open minded and realizing that your points of view aren't totally opposite.
Freud was the son of a Jewish merchant who had to move his whole family to Vienna because he couldn't get work. He, as a boy, had to watch his father be mocked and abused on the street for being Jewish... You develop a thick skin and you develop a certain kind of wit to defend yourself.
It doesn't take that many years for a kid to realise that they're going to die. It's always there in the back of their mind the rest of their lives.
I'm not that involved in personal grooming. But I try not to be offensive to people.
Some people who like dogs don't like cats, but I'm not like that.
Anyone can identify with those moments in life where circumstances or people inform us that we've strayed from the path of our better nature and intentions. We know what that's like, and we resist it - so as not to feel like we're bad people.
Those who have the power and should be the most responsible are often the least responsible.
I don't like people who get into fights about football - or anything else.
One of the main ways that leadership stays in power is by, in various ways, convincing people that they should just let those who are in government govern: 'Trust us. Trust me. Just let us take care of things. Stay out of it.' Your opinions don't really matter. You are isolated. You are insignificant.
Every year I hear people complain that the quality of screenplays and movies is declining. In my opinion, the vast majority of scripts written - as well as most movies that are released - are not very original, well-written, or interesting. It has always been that way, and I think it always will be.
I have a publishing company of books by me and books of others. It drew people to poetry readings and photo exhibitions and painting exhibitions that I've been doing for years before that.
What art does is it makes you feel alive and makes you feel like you're connected.
I have never been in a natural place and felt that it was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.
It's not the end of the world if I can't get a film job, or if a movie doesn't turn out well - even though I don't like it when that happens. There are other things I enjoy doing, and I involve myself in them.
Be kind. It's worthwhile to make an effort to learn about other people and figure out what you might have in common with them.
I like stories that leave you wanting more, leave you wondering, but don't tell you everything.
If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run.
Travel is one of the best anti-war weapons that there are. I've been to Iran, and if you're there you see little kids, cops, old people, cemeteries. Once you see that, you can't say, 'Oh, Iran, let's bomb them.'
Jung viewed Freud as a mentor, but he never wanted to be anybody's disciple.
In a movie, you're raw material, just a hue of some color and the director makes the painting.
In a way, editing is not unlike the movies. The best books, just like the best movies, are a collaboration. They're only as good as the compromise made between the artists involved.
I like the detail work of telling a story in small pieces, as is done in movie-making, and also the long leap of faith needed to see a theatre performance through each night. Both require focus and self-discipline.
A lot of times, movies that are in the top 10 lists or maybe even win Baftas or Oscars, you then watch them a year later and you go, 'Maybe it wasn't so great.'
'The Road' is about that fear that all parents can have - 'What's going to happen to your child if you're not around?'
Most actors can't make any kind of living.
Some actors learn the habit of promoting themselves as a brand - by dressing in a certain way, by going out with a certain person - it gives them what they obviously want, which is to keep a level of fame. I'm not putting it down.
People like to pigeonhole you. It's easier.
I have no idea what 'method actor' means.
If in my twenties I'd gotten one of the two-dozen roles that I did screen tests for and almost got, I think I would have become bored with the awards circuit, the whole hype machine.
One of the most effective tools that the Cheney-Bush junta has used to marginalize dissenting or even mildly inquisitive American citizens has been the accusation of being unpatriotic.
The money I earn from films means I can help the people I want to help - you can do a lot of good if you want to.
I try to research or make up for myself what happened in any character's life. From when he was born until the first page of the script. I fill in the blanks.
Each time I make a movie, it's like a paid scholarship to a different university course.
You know, Freud accepted his lot very stoically and very well and with a sense of humor. He aged and died gracefully, and there's a lot to be said for that.
I'm not afraid of death, but I resent it. I think it's unfair and irritating.
The Holocaust movie is almost a genre in itself these days.
I was raised in Argentina until I was 11 and now I go back there a lot, at least twice a year. It's a country where I feel very comfortable and it represents an important period in my life.
Sometimes you look at a movie and you can see that the actor or actress said, 'I'm taking this onboard because I'm making a ton of money, and not because it's going to be something special.'
I prefer the smaller acting than big histrionics. It's about reacting and looks, which is often underestimated.
Awards for arts, where you make comparisons, don't make much sense.
When I have a day off, I won't spend it at a Hollywood party. I'd rather be at home with paints and a blank canvas.
I like a twisted sense of humour. On 'A History of Violence,' David Cronenberg and I would be doing the grimmest scenes and laugh a lot.
I was raised speaking English and Spanish. And I also speak Danish. And I can get by in French and Italian. I've acted in Spanish and English, but when something has to do with emotions, sometimes I feel I can get to the heart of the matter better in Spanish.
Adult characters are all the things they've encountered over time. But kids haven't accumulated all the life experience, all the regrets. They tend to be more in the moment, more willing to play, to be joyful.
I think every family is dysfunctional, and some manage to control it better than others.
It's very rare you get a great script just handed to you, or sent to you, by someone you don't know.
People will like to say that 'Eastern Promises' is brutal, but the only reason they say that is because the scenes stick with them. They are realistic. They are in-your-face and you see the consequences. It's not a bunch of quick editing cuts.
You do need to get lucky, no matter how talented you are.
In the end, the actor's main power is the power to say, 'No.'
In terms of the movie business, being in a 'Lord of the Rings' has given me more interesting options as work.
I grew up with horses when I was a kid in Argentina. I like them. I respect them. I'm careful around them. You never know what they're going to do. They're endlessly interesting. I've had some good acting partners that were horses over the years.
A little recognition is not a bad thing because it means people appreciate your work. The only problem is when you can't walk down the street or have a meal without people looking at you. I want to be the one looking at people.
You can't really divorce yourself and your life from the world you live in.
Toronto Film Festival is one of those festivals where there are 400 movies, and unless you have a distributor who is super confident and puts a lot of money into it, sometimes movies can go unwatched or unnoticed.
I suppose a good director is like a teacher. I think that someone like David Cronenberg was very much like a teacher, because there's an openness, but a certain set of rules of behavior, and a certain conduct expected. But there's an atmosphere that's relaxed and conducive to exploration, and that is created by someone like Cronenberg.
I like movies that leave you with something to think about, to discuss, to debate, you know?
I mean, any movie or story that makes you accept and be grateful for something about your life is doing something right.
I'm optimistic about people and about the planet and about nature. I think it's resilient, like people are.
Kids accept where they are because they don't know the past. They know what they have; they know where they are.
Looking at acting, in the movies or the theater, and the way I like to look at it, it's just an extension of childhood play... Kids play and imagine in a very intense fashion and they don't need any director telling them, 'You really have to believe in it.' They believe in it completely.
With few exceptions, one ought always do what one is afraid of.
I'm sort of contrary and stubborn sometimes. When everybody says, 'You have to read this book! You have to read this book!' I'm like 'Oh, I'll get around to it.'